Category Archives: 12 Days of Doctors

The Doctors’ First Adventures – Worst to Best

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We end the 12 Days of Doctors Series with rating the Doctors’ First Adventures, Worst to Best. This was a fun thing to do, though when “Doctor Who” was bad it was pretty obvious. I’ll post my original reviews under the summary as well as have some contrasting in the summary on why they are rated where they are. “Doctor Who” is one of my favorite shows and it is great looking back again and seeing how each actor approached the role. So without further ado, lets look back on the episodes from worst to best:

12th Place

Twin Dilemma

The 6th Doctor – “The Twin Dilemma”

This episode is pretty insulting on a lot of levels (The 6th Doctor’s physical abuse of his companion) and there is not really anything good to say about it beyond the fact that it sucks less later on. The villain is also one of the stupidist bad guys in “Doctor Who” and believe me, that is saying something. He doesn’t ever feel threatening and is a complete joke, also we have two Wonder Boy/Wesley Crusher type characters we’re supposed to sympathize with, and who can’t act. Yep…this episode is one of the worst of the worst in “Doctor Who.”

1 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/12-days-of-doctors-the-6th-doctor-season-21-episode-7-the-twin-dilemma-everyone-is-terrible-or-boring/

11th Place

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The 8th Doctor – “Doctor Who the Movie”

So, after the show was off the air, they tried to bring it back with a movie. “Doctor Who the Movie.” It is pretty bad, pretty much the only redeeming qualities of this film are Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor and Sylvester McCoy appearing before he gets killed as the 7th Doctor. The Master is the bad kind of hammy and none of the Doctor’s companions are worth mentioning in this, beyond the fact that they are terrible people. This is a tragedy too given that Paul McGann owns this role and really deserved a series as the Eighth Doctor.

5 / 10. Was a bad action movie elevated by Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/12-days-of-doctors-the-8th-doctor-doctor-who-the-movie-paul-mcgann-should-have-got-a-series/

10th Place

An Unearthly Child 13

The 1st Doctor – “An Unearthly Child”

Things didn’t start out well for this series, they started out okay, but not great. The “Doctor Who” Pilot begins with two teachers talking their student Susan until they meet her strange Grandfather who kidnaps them because he doesn’t want to be revealed to Earth. He is great as the gruff Professor type but the teachers and Susan aren’t very good and the Doctor played by William Hartnell isn’t given enough to do. This should have been a longer episode.

6 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-1st-doctor-an-unearthly-child-season-1-episode-1-12-days-of-doctors/

9th Place

Robot 4

The 4th Doctor – “The Robot”

Tom Baker is a fantastic Doctor, and Sarah Jane Smith is a great companion…it is a shame the episode they appear in together for the first time doesn’t get to use their talents fully. The episode tries to be a morality play with The Robot of the title but the organization that wants to kill everyone is not fleshed out really well and in the process, the Robot they created isn’t either. There are a lot of good ideas here, they just aren’t fully realized. Seeing the Brigadier in action along with Harry is another plus though.

7.4 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/12-days-of-doctors-the-4th-doctor-the-robot-an-attempt-to-explore-the-formation-of-morality-through-a-robot-season-12-episode-1/

8th Place

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The 10th Doctor – “The Christmas Invasion”

David Tennant was my first Doctor and the one who got me into my love of “Doctor Who” as a whole, both the new and the classic. His episode is good but it has a major problem. The companions are useless and the Doctor is a super hero who must save them and the world. I hate this…part of what makes “Doctor Who” so great is the fact that the Doctor needs his companions, if they aren’t used, it would be better if they never appeared in the episode at all. I still recommend this episode though, even with this big problem.

7.8 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/12-days-of-doctors-the-10th-doctor-series-2-episode-1-the-christmas-invasion-the-doctor-as-a-super-hero/

7th Place

Castrovalva

The 5th Doctor – “Castrovalva”

This is an episode where the biggest issues are too many companions (Mostly Adric) and the fact that the Doctor is out of it for most of it. The Master is great though with his two plots to try and destroy the Doctor, especially in how his creations are actually interesting compelling beings who are related to the world that is the title. Nyssa and Tegan are great companions too. Could do without Adric though, even though he isn’t as bad as he is in later episodes. Kids who can fly the TARDIS and know everything don’t lend themselves well to good stories…

8.5 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/12-days-of-doctors-the-5th-doctor-castrovalva-the-manipulations-of-the-master-season-19-episode-1/

6th Place

Dr Who: Spearhead From Space

The 3rd Doctor – “The Spearhead From Space”

This episode for me, had the same score has “Castrovalva.” What makes it better slightly and why it rated higher on this list is the lack of Adric and a slightly more coherent plot. In this episode we see the Doctor with UNIT face off against the Autons sent by the Nesetene Consciousness to take over the world. It is here we see him with the Brig and Liz having to invent things to stop the Nestene and to investigate to find out that the Nestene is behind all the issues in the first place. It is a lot of fun and well worth a watch. Jon Pertwee is amazing.

8.5 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/12-days-of-doctors-the-3rd-doctor-the-spearhead-from-space-the-beginning-of-an-exile-season-7-episode-1/

5th Place

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The 9th Doctor – “Rose”

Christopher Eccleston is fantastic and Rose is a great companion on her first outing. She works with the Doctor and we get to see a great Doctor and companion dynamic. This is also the first Post-Time War Doctor, and it shows. Eccleston does the PTSD Doctor so well that you can see how driven he is to save lives. He gives the Nestene Consciousness a chance and he has some great strategies for trying to stop the Auton invasion from the Nestene. Also Rose is a great character and very worthy of the companion role. She embraces the adventure, even with having a life and reasons to stay. I highly recommend this episode.

9 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/12-days-of-doctors-the-9th-doctor-series-1-episode-1-rose-the-consequences-of-the-time-war/

4th Place

time_and_the_rani

The 7th Doctor – “Time and the Rani”

This was an episode that nearly made the Top 3. There is only one factor that keeps it from being there, and that is the consequences the Rani forcing a regeneration into the 7th aren’t fully explored. It is a great episode, and one of my all time favorite “Doctor Who” episodes…both because of the Rani played by Kate O’Mara and Sylvester McCoy owning the role as the more wizard like Doctor (and the costume designs and alien civilizations are fantastic). Her plan is pretty cool and it takes a lot to defeat her in the episode. The thing that doesn’t really help it though is the fact that Mel isn’t all that memorable as companion. She is okay and has personality but isn’t as memorable as some of the ones before. Still a favorite that I very much recommend.

9.2 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/12-days-of-doctors-the-7th-doctor-season-24-episode-1-time-and-the-rani-the-rani-is-awesome/

3rd Place

Deep Breath

The 12th Doctor – “Deep Breath”

This is the episode I just saw today, and it is amazing. It makes the top 3 for a few reasons. The biggest being Clara is finally a human being and an interesting companion (we see her trials as a teacher and trials with the Doctor), the Paternoster Gang (Vastra, Strax and Jenny) are great and we get to see more of their dynamic and how they grow with Clara and the Doctor, the villain of The Half-Face Man and Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor. There is a lot to love, the only issue is how everyone keeps bringing up Clara and having a romantic partner. How many times does she have to say she wasn’t and isn’t interested? Can’t that be respected and why was that written in? Besides that, great story and one of the Top 3 First Adventures of the Doctors.

9.3 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/12-days-of-doctors-the-12th-doctor-series-8-episode-1-deep-breath-finding-the-doctor/

2nd Place

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The 2nd Doctor – “The Power of the Daleks”

This is one of my favorite episodes for a reason, and it’s one that you can only watch via audio, pictures and what little film remains…it is worth it though. In the link I post you can see some of the recreations that fans did. This episode is great because it shows the Daleks manipulating humans against each other and only arriving when they’ve pretty much won anyway…Polly and Ben each help the Doctor in their own ways and the Patrick Troughton is a great Loki like Doctor. He is the trickster who manages to manipulate his way in a position to help by playing the buffoon. This is one of the best “Doctor Who” episodes and one of the best Dalek Episodes as well. This episode really establishes why they are so dangerous. I highly recommend watching the footage and audio of the full episode to really get apprecation for this Doctor, the Daleks, Polly and Ben and this story.

9.5 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-2nd-doctor-the-power-of-the-daleks-season-4-episode-3-the-daleks-manipulation-12-days-of-doctors/

1st Place

Doctor and Amy

The 11th Doctor – “The Eleventh Hour”

This is the episode that is the best of the First Adventures. The reasons for this are it establishes the Doctor as a Time Lord and time traveler (visiting Amy as a child and an adult and not being aware of the time change) a great baddie who plays with your mind (Prisoner Zero in the corner of your eye…the boogey man of childhood) and continuity (when facing the Atraxi they can the Doctor and find all his past numbered incarnations in their data bank as defenders of the Earth). It is wonderful and Rory and Amy are great companions. The Doctor isn’t a super hero and actually needs their help since it is only together they win. For people new to “Doctor Who” this is generally the episode I recommend. It is also visually amazing. This Doctor, is pretty cool.

10 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/12-days-of-doctors-the-11th-doctor-series-5-episode-1-the-eleventh-hour-the-time-traveler/

“Doctor Who” both Classic and New is an amazing series and many of these episodes capture the good that this show can bring…whether it is wrestling with morality, showing us the good in ourselves or just being fun it is a series that I believe will remain timeless. I look forward to reviewing more “Doctor Who” episodes later on, but until than it was fantastic and I can’t wait to see what the new Series 8 brings to this very rich universe.

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12 Days of Doctors – The 12th Doctor – Series 8, Episode 1 – “Deep Breath” – Finding the Doctor

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We end 12 Days of Doctors with “Deep Breath” the first adventure of the 12th Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. So, how did it hold up? I’ll go into that in the review, but the short version…I was inspired and impressed. It’s nice to see Moffat back in form after the terriblish “Time of the Doctor.”

Speaking of which, this episode was written by Steven Moffat who is still the current showrunner, much like Davies was through the 9th and 10th Doctor. Ben Wheatley directed the episode and Nikki Wilson produced it.

This will be a SPOILER review, so warning. It is hard to talk about the Doctor and characters without giving away what happens.

The story begins with the TARDIS being swallowed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex and accidentally transporting it to Victorian England where the story takes place. The 12th Doctor has just went through being given new regenerations and is not all there, and Clara his companion doesn’t know what to make of him. From here the story unfolds as Vastra and her Paternoster Gang (Strax and Jenny) try to solve why people have been exploding all over town after the Tyrannasaurus Rex is exploded too, all while trying to help the new Doctor find his bearing and stop the crimes.

Deep Breath

Here is the assessment of the episode:

Pros: The 12th Doctor / The Twelfth Doctor – Peter Capaldi is fantastic in this role. His Doctor has the manic and egotistical without being hurtful and cruel. You see his heart shine through on multiple occasions, such as mourning the Tyrannosaurus Rex that was killed and his connecting with Clara over the course of the episode. He’s the Doctor who was aware he was young and is also aware that he’s cheated. “I’ve made mistakes, it’s time I start correcting them.” This sums up the 12th Doctor in a nutshell and he is brilliant. Peter Capaldi owns this role and is well deserving of the mantel of the Doctor. Also, he loves dinosaurs.

Clara – Clara is someone who for much of this series has existed as a meme and some of the worst of Steven Moffat’s writing. She’s “The Impossible Girl” whose destiny it is to save the Doctor. That isn’t really a character, or at least not a human one…that is the idea of a character. We finally get to see a Clara that isn’t all whimsical and actually feels like a human being and companion! At one point she crosses into a room where she feels overwhelmed and where Clockwork Droids are around her…you see her as a teacher (which wasn’t established until “Day of the Doctor” really) and her being overwhelmed. We also see her questioning what her relationship is to the Doctor and what it means…and she does great! I can genuinely say I like Clara after this episode, when before there wasn’t much to like or dislike.

Paternoster Gang

The Paternoster Gang – I love this group. Mostly because Vastra and Jenny are such a great couple. They were actually there to show what loving someone who isn’t human is like since Clara was dealing with the fact that Eleven might have felt for her in that way (which the 12th Doctor apologizes for). Vastra is also there in an advising role and she is fantastic! She is one of my all time favorite characters in “Doctor Who” and her story has been handled much better than how Harknesses was butchered in “Torchwood.” All of them have roles, except for Strax who is a good fighter but mostly comic relief, honestly he isn’t needed. At one point we even see them ready to take Clara onto the Team after the Doctor has disappeared. It is quite cool and they have a great character arc. They grow into accepting Clara and helping her accept the new Doctor. The companionship and marriage between Vastra and Jenny is contrasted between the friendship and companionship between The Doctor and Clara. They have a great standoff against the Clockwork Droids too near the end.

The Half-Face Man – Is the leader of the Clock Work Droids (think the episode “Girl in the Fire Place” also written by Moffat) who are trying to fix their ship and themselves and reach Paradise. They do this buy capturing humans and taking their organs, they also do this to the Tyrannosaurus Rex to help repair their ship. He is a great baddy is creepy as he uses his restaraunt as a front and is human, he speaks as an individual and is compelling enough that your left wondering if the Doctor convinced him to take his life since he knew what he was doing was wrong to reach Paradise. I like that. We later see him speaking to a mysterious Mary Poppins lady in “Paradise” who calls herself the Doctor’s girlfriend. It is cool and continues the mysterious creepiness of the episode. I liked him as a bad guy, he was a robot doing everything to fulfill his orders to repair the ship but was seeking paradise because of the humanity he’d implanted into himself. It was very well done.

Okay: The Music – The music is alright, not nearly as memorable as “The Eleventh Hour” soundtrack though. It was more neutral in regards to this new series.

The 11th Doctor Calls Clara – I honestly didn’t know what to think of this. How would Eleven know he’d become Twelve? Did he remember “Day of the Doctor?” This part was confusing, but touching…but because of the confusing bit, can’t really call it a pro.

Con: Clara and the Boyfriend – This point was brought up way too much, from Clara saying that Vastra is jealous of her for having the gall to think she liked the Doctor as lover (When Vastra is questioning her on why she is being so standoffish to the Doctor), to the 12th Doctor saying “Is your boyfriend calling?” When she gets a call from the Eleventh Doctor at Trenzalore….it was annoying. We get it, you don’t need to bring it up all the freaking time. She wasn’t interested in the 11th Doctor and isn’t interested in anyone currently.

I highly recommend this episode. Definitely in the Top 3 First Doctor Adventures (which I’ll write my list rating them all together later). It is fun, the enemy is interesting, the Paternoster Gang is always fantastic, even in episodes that aren’t great and Clara is finally a good companion…Also Capaldi owns this role. It is worth it just to see his unique and fantastic take on the Doctor.

Final Score this episode is 9.3 / 10. Here is to hoping that the rest of Series 8 can hold up as well as this episode did. The 12th Doctor and Clara deserve a great season.

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12 Days of Doctors – The 11th Doctor – Series 5, Episode 1 – “The Eleventh Hour” – The Time Traveler

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We continue 12 Days of Doctors with “The Eleventh Hour” the first episode in Series 5 and the introduction of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor as well as his main companion for this season, Amy Pond. The episode was written by Steven Moffat, who became the showrunner after this point (for better and for worse) and was directed by Adam Smith.

The story of “The Eleventh Hour,” is that the Doctor’s TARDIS is nearly destroyed after his regeneration so he needs to get it fixed and healed up, so he arrives at the home of Amelia Pond where his TARDIS crashes and she helps him heal. They than go to her room where the Crack in Time is and the Atraxi send out a warning that Prisoner Zero has escaped. The Doctor than jumps forward to fix his TARDIS, but jumps forward too far and Amy is no longer a little girl. Together they must stop Prisoner Zero from causing the Atraxi from destroying the Earth as well as re-establishing that he is the same Doctor she met as child and their current relationship.

Doctor and Amy

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The 11th Doctor / The Eleventh Doctor – Matt Smith is the Peter Pan Doctor, he is the Doctor who will whisk you away from reality and takes joy in the little things, and also the one who is openly pretty full of himself and confident, as well as oblivious. It is thanks to Amy Pond that he survives his regeneration when he is trying to find his footing and how Prisoner Zero is defeated. He has eccentricities and also has some of the Tenth Doctor’s savvy, though he is much more of the child-like Doctor than David Tennant’s as everything is extreme with him, and he is earnest, even when he lies…which he does a lot. Matt Smith definitely deserves his place among the Doctors and is one of the most joyful to watch.

Amelia Pond / Amy Pond – We see Amy when she is a little girl, alone in her house with a haunting crack in her wall, and grown up when she’s a kiss a gram with a boyfriend. After watching this episode, I think some of the criticism against her character isn’t as deserved. She is Independent, to the point that she takes action when her boyfriend Rory does not, she risks the adventure at the end with the Doctor and she holds her own against Prisoner Zero…her boogeyman from childhood beyond the mysterious crack throughout the episode. The Doctor is only able to defeat Prisoner Zero because of Amy facing her fears making her an active agent with a lot of agency in this episode. Also, as a small thing…she’s the one pulling the Doctor and telling him to run, which is a nice subverting of the usual Doctor/Companion relationship. Karen Gillian is fantastic.

Rory – We only see him briefly, but he helps fight against Prisoner Zero with the evacuating of the hospital and he is the one who helps the Doctor figure out Prisoner Zero is masking itself from the Atraxi by tapping into people’s dreams who are in a coma. You see how powerless he feels for a lot of it too, as Amy doesn’t admit they are a couple to the Doctor. He still does quite well though and respects Amy.

Prisoner Zero – What an awesome baddie, this enemy who committed unknown crimes is the haunting space eel thing that can shape shift into multiple people, but can’t match the voices to the bodies. It is a good threat and wants to let the world burn rather than be caught again, so it’s motivation makes sense. It also gives the Doctor the warning that “Silence Will Fall,” which is a major plot point over Eleven’s Arc. The fact that it takes the Doctor and Amy together to defeat it along with the Atraxi is a testament to it’s power. Also it has the Moffat playing with senses deal as it’s true form can only be seen from the corner of your eye.

The Atraxi – Giant Space Crystal’s with large eyes…unless that is what their ships are…these guys are good Galactic Police as they cannot see beyond their own people until the Doctor reminds them that they can’t bully other planets or the Earth in their hunt for criminals or simply just because. He shows them the planet is defended.

The Doctor Revealed – The best reveal of the Doctor as a Time Lord happens in this, both as him visiting Amy as a child and when she is grown and his unawareness of how much time has passed, and at the end when the Atraxi scanning screen reveals how all the Numbered Doctors from 1-10 have defended the Earth. We see their images, ending on a big picture of Ten before Eleven walks through and tells them, “Basically, run.”

The cinematography – Is the best it’s ever been. This is a beautiful episode and it captures the mystery and subtext of scenes very well, as well as the threats of the Atraxi and Prisoner Zero.

The Music – This is some of Murray Gold’s best work, from Amy’s scene, to the Doctor Triumphant and the music inbetween. Definitely one of my favorite composers.

I highly recommend this episode. It keeps the fairy tale theme that is referenced in the episode, but unlike the fairy tale theme…the princess doesn’t need to be saved. The Doctor and Amy work together, and Rory too defeat the threats that appear and they are treated like fully fleshed out characters. Prisoner Zero is a great threat as are the Atraxi in their obliviousness and Matt Smith as the Peter Pan Doctor is a pleasure in all the joy he takes out of things. Definitely the best episode thus far…I’m curious how “Deep Breath” and the 12th Doctor are going to compare now…we shall see. Until then, bow ties are cool.

10 / 10. Good enemy, great Doctor, companions are partners against the threat, great music and cinematography, and establishes the Doctor as a Time Lord, that there were Doctor’s who came before, and his role as defender of the Earth.

11th Doctor

12 Days of Doctors – The 10th Doctor – Series 2, Episode 1 – “The Christmas Invasion” – The Doctor as a Super Hero

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We continue 12 Days of Doctors in the count up to 12th’s first adventure with David Tennant as the 10th Doctor in his first Adventure “The Christmas Invasion.” David Tennant was my first Doctor and the Doctor who got me into both the current series and Classic Series because of how masterfully he played the Time Lord of the Doctor. He also has some of the best arcs this season, especially in Series 3 which has the most solid arc in the series thus far in my opinion.

The writer for this episode is Russell T. Davies and the director is James Hawes.

The story is that the Doctor is dealing with his new regeneration as the Sycorax attack Earth on Christmas in order to conquer Earth. From here it is up to Rose, Mickey, Jackie and the Prime Minister Harriet Jones to deal with this new threat as the Doctor is out of commission going through the cost of having just regenerated.

Doctor and Companions

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The 10th Doctor / The Tenth Doctor – For an episode about us meeting the new Doctor, we don’t actually spend that much time with him, since he is out of commission finishing the regeneration for most of it. When we do see him and who he is, which is mostly at the end it is a man who is arrogant (destroys the Prime Minister for defending Earth), kind (defense of humanity) and savvy (he uses “Lion King” to describe humanity’s potential). He is also the youngest looking of the Doctors up to this point and has the youthful energy of a younger man. David Tennant owns this role, but the problem is how he is written, which I’ll go into later. It is really here where the Doctor as a super hero who doesn’t need help to save the day really starts to show…which carries on in the series and later with the 11th Doctor.

Rose Tyler – Rose is good in this but the writers don’t give her much to do. Most of her arc is accepting this new Doctor as the Doctor, which is important but she doesn’t get to fight the Sycorax and only stalls for time for the tea to take affect (which she doesn’t even realize it’s doing).

Prime Minister Harriet Jones – Reveals the darker side of the Doctor after she destroys the Sycorax ship at the end. Which it makes sense why she does, as she tells the Doctor, “Your not always around and we need to be able to defend ourselves.” The Doctor rewards that with getting her fired leading to the rise of a powerful enemy later in the series. Thanks a lot Ten. She is an awesome character, and the only human with any agency.

Torchwood – They lost a third of their men we hear but they still manage to destroy the Sycorax ship in retaliation for the innocents killed and the fact that the Sycorax are space orc thugs.

Okay: The Minor Companions – Jackie and Mickey are there getting used to the new Doctor. Their roles are similar to their first appearance as the reasons to get Rose to stay. Mickey has some great moments with her as does her mother since it is nearly Christmas, but they don’t get nearly enough exploration as they deserved, which is strange since the Doctor is out of commission for most of the episode.

Cons: The Sycorax – These guys are space orcs. Both in design (skulls and capes) and intent (enslavement of the human race). Why the Doctor expects them to respect their word is beyond me, given their leader goes back on it and tries to kill him during the Fight for Honor at the end. These guys never show up again, which I think is good. They are a weak concept and there is nothing unique about them. They are mindless baddies just out for conquest with a lazy design.

The Doctor as a Super Hero – This is a trend I can’t stand that was especially prevelant in Matt Smith’s time as the 11th Doctor, but really starts here. There are all these human characters, but the only one who can save the day is the Doctor. So we see humanity getting schooled by the aliens up until the Doctor wakes up and when they do stand up he shuts them down. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen. I’m saying this as a fan of the Tenth Doctor too, he was my first Doctor and David Tennant is fantastic, it is just how he is used which is the problem. The Doctor always works best when he needs to be rescued, when he’s a Time Lord not Superman. This episode and some others, he is Superman and it is a trend that hurts the story further down the line, that really starts here in the new series.

I would recommend this episode nonetheless, it is a great introduction to the 10th Doctor (my Doctor) and also a fun adventure, even if the Doctor is way too overpowered and the villains are pretty lame. It at least establishes Torchwood and humanity as able to fight back…which we haven’t really seen since UNIT has yet to appear in this series.

Final Score is 7.8 / 10

11th Doctor

12 Days of Doctors – The 9th Doctor – Series 1, Episode 1 – “Rose” – The Consequences of the Time War

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We continue 12 Days of Doctors with “Rose” and the first adventure for the 9th Doctor. “Rose” is the episode that brings the Doctor back on the air, this time under direction and show runner of Russell T. Davies. The episode was also written by Russell T. Davies and directed by Keith Boak.

Before I get into the details of the episode, I love it. It has mystery in how the reveal the main premise, and the minor characters are treated with respect (Jackie and Mickey) which makes Rose’s world real that she leaves behind…which we hadn’t seen as much before with past Doctors. Suffice to say, I can see why this series planted the seed that keeps the modern Doctor Who and continuation of the series running to this day.

The story of “Rose” is that Rose is pulled into the Doctor’s world when he arrives on the scene to save her from an attack by Autons (the plastic men from “Spearhead from Space”) who are here to colonize Earth since the Nestene Consciousness’s worlds were destroyed by the Time War that the Doctor fought in. From here the Doctor and Rose must face this threat with each other and Rose tries to make sense of this mysterious stranger and help the Doctor save the day.

doctor-rose1280

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The 9th Doctor / The Ninth Doctor – Christopher Eccleston is like how his Doctor describes things, “Fantastic!” He has a chip on his shoulder from the War (the details of which we learn later in the series) but even here we see how he is trying to write the wrongs of the Time War he fought in, and how impossible it feels for him. He still doesn’t kill as a first resort and though he is standoffish, he is kind. He clearly cares for Rose and for humanity as he defends humanity by their potential to the Nestene Consciousness on why they deserve to live. I know he didn’t stay because of trouble with the Producers and others on the show, but I wish he’d gotten more than a season. The 9th Doctor had the most complete arc, which we see the beginning of here. He is the PTSD Doctor healing from the war, and it is here with Rose that the healing really starts. Without a doubt, one of my favorite Doctors.

Rose Tyler – A controversial companion because of how she is romantically involved with the 10th Doctor later and other things, shows herself a very good companion in her first episode. She saves the Doctor from the Nestene Consciousness and is willing to leave her life behind to go on adventures with the Doctor by the end of the episode, even being in a romantic relationship with Mickey and caring for her mom aren’t enough to keep her there. She also sees the things the Doctor misses, like the Ferris Wheel being the giant device the Nestene needs to control the plastic in the city. Suffice to say, she starts out great! Rose will get her own blog post another time.

The Minor Characters – Mickey her boyfriend is well meaning but kind of oblivious making him a very human character, and he does see the big picture too as he is fine with Rose adventuring with the Doctor. Jackie is the concerned Mom who is single and lonely, but also practical, once Rose’s work get’s destroyed by the Doctor when he is trying to stop the Nestene Consciousness, Jackie is the one trying to help Rose get money and find work.

The Nestene Consciousness – It is great seeing this antagonist again, though the bad CGI was worse than the tentacles that were props used in “Spearhead from Space.” I’ll take real props and models over okay or bad CGI any day. Still a great character though, this creature is a survivor from the Time War and just trying to live. It knows it is more powerful than us so sees it having a right to Earth by that alone. As a desperate refugee you can kind of see how desperation probably lead it to thinking that way. RIP Nestene Consciousnesses of the Time War.

The Consequences of the Time War – The Nestene is the first of the refugees we will meet and shows us for the first time, the Doctor is not all good and has done and been a part of great wrongs…the Time War being one of the greatest of these. Because of these he and the Universe is scarred and episode shows that without explicitly telling us. It is brilliant.

Okay: The Doctor’s Past Regenerations – We see that the Doctor has lived for a long time when a conspiracy theorist shows Rose pictures of the 9th Doctor throughout Time. Sadly there is no reference to the other Doctors, which I think doesn’t help the episode. We get that later, but this time it would have been nice to see that the 9th Doctor was connected to the ones before.

Con: The Special Effects – I’ll stress what I said before, give me models and props over bad CGI anyday. The bad CGI shows in this first season and doesn’t help the case at all. In many ways it limits creativity and the realness of it since the Doctor is just talking to a Green or Blue Screen in the end. If it was good it wouldn’t be so bad, but when there is bad CGI it really stands out.

I recommend this episode for sure. Christopher Eccleston is great as the Doctor, and the episode begins Rose’s arc into self confidence and the Doctor’s healing and dealing with the consequences from the Time War…which is an arc I’ll be covering later and eventually doing an entry about. This is where I think people should start who don’t know about Doctor Who, it introduces you to the world, the Doctor and the adventure as well as setting a few arcs in motion that payoff later in this new series.

My Final Score for this episode is 9 / 10. It is very good.

christopher eccleston Ninth Doctor

12 Days of Doctors – The 8th Doctor – “Doctor Who The Movie” – Paul McGann Should Have Got a Series

Doctor Who tv movie

We continue 12 Days of Doctors with our count up to 12th’s First Adventure with Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor and the “Doctor Who” movie.

This was after the show had been taken off the air, and the first attempt at a reboot and also at expanding the market for Doctor Who into the U.S.A. and Canada. It didn’t succeed, and there are well deserved reasons for that I’ll go into in the assessment.

The story of the film begins with the 7th Doctor taking the The Master’s remains back to Skaro after he was executed there for his crimes. The Master escapes and forces the TARDIS to land which leads to the 7th Doctor getting shot by gangsters. One of the medics who picks up the Doctor’s body gets possessed by the Master and another doctor named Grace accidentally kills the Doctor when she thinks his heart rate is beating uncontrollably. This leads to his regeneration into his 8th Incarnation, and the story unfolds from there with the Master’s plan and the Doctor trying to find out who he is.

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Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: the Introduction – The introduction is pretty cool. It is narrated by Paul McGann and we see the 7th Doctor reading the “Time Machine” and going about his normal life until everything goes to crap. It was great seeing Sylvester McCoy again, even if he doesn’t survive past 20 minutes. Seeing the Dalek’s used as executioners was a fitting Time Lord way to do things too and seeing the Old Master from the classic series was great again as well, before his death.

The 8th Doctor / The Eighth Doctor – Paul McGann is fantastic. He reminds me a lot of the 5th Doctor in how empathetic he is and he is one of the Doctor’s who is aware of things around him more so than most…glimpsing peoples’ futures or deducting them. He also inspires Grace and Chang to actions to save him in the end. He is just that kind of Doctor and I wish he’d gotten his own series. He deserves it and very worthy of the mantel. Also, he has a great fashion sense.

Cons: The Companions – Chang Lee and Grace are just terrible human beings. Chang steals the Doctor’s stuff works with the Master when the Master is clearly evil…his only redeeming quality comes at the end when he resists the Master. Grace has the same problem, she’s a cheater sleeping with one of her fellow doctors (the one who gets possessed by the Master) and is pretty useless up until the end. She does save the day, so I’ll give her that, but having her be the main companion besides Chang Lee was a mistake. None of them are likeable or talented enough to carry the story. Both are extremely selfish characters.

The Master – The Master is just bad…he dresses in a leather coat with sunglasses initially and spits slime. Making him like a demon was a mistake, as it took away the fact that Time Lords are supposed to be very human. He was also pretty inept and only was able to get so close to winning because of Chang Lee stealing the Doctor’s stuff which allowed him to get in the TARDIS and set his trap. Eric Roberts is just a textbook movie bad guy, there is nothing unique about him and all he does is create tension when the plot needs him too. His Master isn’t unique or memorable. His whole plan is to use the TARDIS’s energy in the Eye of Harmony to transfer his soul to the Doctor’s body so he has more lives…yep, pretty convoluted and he misses a lot of opportunities that he would have had to succeed.

The Doctor is Half Human – So glad that they ignored this plot point in the tv show. It has no purpose and is only their so Chang Lee can open up Mcguffins in the TARDIS. Him being Half Human makes no sense given how old he is and the mythos of him being one of the earliest Time Lords. This was a poor plot point to make the Doctor more human I think and again, so glad that the new series and the classic series never went there.

The Supporting Cast – No one is memorable, everyone is a one note partier, an arrogant Doctor, Businessmen, Scientist or gangster. It is sad how poorly this movie was cast and written. Doctor Who deserved better than that.

The only thing good about this movie is Paul McGann. I wish he’d gotten his own series, and I hope at some point a mini-series can be commissioned for him. He owns this role and gives it a unique and empathetic twist. He is what drove the film, cause even though it was in many ways just a stupid action film that happened to star the Doctor…he made it “Doctor Who” and he was the Doctor. “Night of the Doctor” we get to see him again, and that will be a special review for another time. Paul McGann, I hope you can get the chance to be the character that you own so well so that you won’t be associated with such a terrible film.

Final score for this film is 5 / 10. Would be a below average action movie if not for the appearance by Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor.

Doctor Who 8th Doctor

12 Days of Doctors – The 7th Doctor – Season 24, Episode 1 – “Time and the Rani” – The Rani is Awesome

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“Time and the Rani” is the next episode on the 12 Days of Doctors and the count up to 12th’s first Adventure. This episode is the 7th Doctor’s first adventure and our introduction to Sylvester McCoy. The episode is the first episode in Season 24.

“Time and the Rani” was directed by Andrew Morgan and written by Jane and Pip Baker…and they all do an awesome job! This isn’t the best story, but it is one of the best of the pilots, it is very entertaining to say the least. I’ll get into more details in the assessment.

The story begins with the Doctor’s TARDIS being attacked by the Rani’s TARDIS, which forces him to regenerate. The Rani than pretends to be the Doctor’s companion Mel and to manipulate him to achieve her goals. He is unaware of her identity because of her disguise and Mel is unaware of the Doctor’s regeneration because she was knocked out during the attack as well. From here the story unfolds as the Rani’s plans are set in motion and the politics between her minions the Tetraps and the colonized Lakertyans who are her willing and unwilling slaves.

Tetrap

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Alien¬†Civilizations¬†– The Aliens are awesome! The Lektrayan’s design is reptalian with long golden hair and they have a society ruled by a single ruler and his elite. There are also the Rani’s Tetraps who look like giant humanoid bats who have eyes on three sides. They are similar to orcs in that their goals are only for themselves and their species as seen by what happens to the Rani later.

The Rani – The Rani is a fantastic villain and is awesome! Her end goal is to create a universe that is logical by using the Brain (created from geniuses around the world and universe, she wants the Doctor’s mind in it too to solve the equation of how to make the Time Manipulator faster) on the Lektrayan Home World to create a Time Manipulator to shape time anywhere in the Universe. It is perfect, brilliant and so in character. In the end it is her lack of empathy that destroys her, in that her minions turn on her when they learn she intends to let them be destroyed on the planet and when the leader of the Lektrayan’s who has been a collaborator realizes what is at stake he makes the sacrifice to stop the rocket that would turn his planet into the Time Manipulator. Kate O’Mara is fantastic, and I hope the Rani returns in the newest series at some point. She is one of the best and most interesting of the Doctor’s enemies.

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Mel – Mel is a great companion. She is spunky and doesn’t put up with crap from the Doctor…I can see why she leaves later. The 7th Doctor is detached and you see he functions like a chess master, even in this episode. Everyone is a tool, even if he treats said tools with respect. Mel is the counter to that, she is blunt and honest. Kind of like Donna was to the 10th Doctor.

The 7th Doctor / The Seventh Doctor – Sylvester McCoy is brilliant. His Doctor is like a wizard, both in his manipulation and in his strange turns of phrases. Such phrases like “Tom, Dick and Harriet.” etc. He is also empathetic too, even in his distance. I think he probably became the chess master because of the Rani manipulating him right when he had first regenerated. She did a number on him and him being so easily manipulated in the first two parts made her plan almost succeed, that probably gave this Doctor trust issues. I really like McCoy and his Doctor is a pleasure to watch. He is quite worthy of the title and a much needed change from Colin Baker and the 6th.

I would highly recommend this episode. Once again, a favorite episode, largely because of the Rani, the Doctor, Mel and the Tetraps and Lektrayans…an interesting species and villain really help to elevate any science fiction story. This story also really captures the sense of adventure and the characters feel human, you can empathize with them, and the ones you can’t are fascinating in their own right, both as a species and in the Rani’s case as a fantastic antagonist. This episode was worth it just to see her plan unfold.

My final score for this episode is 9.2 / 10.

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